Dialing up the Fun for FUNdraiser
Written by Ken Hildebrandt   
Monday, 16 April 2012 17:02

Panic_Squad_PhotoAbbotsford, BC – Gallery 7 Theatre is planning an evening of theatre and music that is designed to entertain and encourage people to support Abbotsford's only full time theatre company. The fundraising event will feature the popular improv theatre troupe, Panic Squad, which has been entertaining audiences on the Gallery 7 stage for years. Panic Squad will be joined on stage by J.D. Miner, a Canadian acoustic music trio whose music is described as "an eclectic collection of original jazzy tunes, ballads about real (and unreal) people, mixed up with a liberal dose of Old Time Banjo and fiddle tunes."


For more than 20 years, Gallery 7 Theatre has been producing professional quality theatre that touches the heart, stimulates the mind and elevates the soul – something that the staff and board want to continue to build on.


"Live theatre is such a powerful means to explore story, ideas and emotions," says Ken Hildebrandt, founder and Executive Artistic Director. "Theatre offers entertainment to be sure, but it also offers nourishment for the heart, soul and mind. I think this is what makes it so integral to the emotional, intellectual and even spiritual well-being of our community. Gallery 7 Theatre is dedicated to providing a life-affirming environment where recreational and professional artists can work together to create impactful experiences that have meaning and significance for audiences."


Gallery 7 Theatre is not only committed to producing top quality theatre but to educate audiences about theatre production, to stimulate discussion on themes presented in the plays that are performed and to develop new talent. Along with a full season of productions, Gallery 7 also holds talk-back evenings and produces Discussion Guides for each play. The theatre company also runs workshops and summer drama camps for children and youth.


Running a theatre can be costly and while the staff and board work towards the dream of operating in their own theatre space in the future, there is also the need to cover current costs and invest in a way that will make that dream a reality. To that end, this fundraising event will give the community an opportunity to invest in Gallery 7's future.


"Along with the entertainment, we're encouraging those who come out to bring their cheque books along and help us raise meet our goal of raising $10,000," says Denise Ramsay, Gallery 7's board chair. "We're also planning a silent auction and have some very exciting items already with more being added each week."


While the dream is to be in their own building, Ramsay agrees with Hildebrandt that Gallery 7 Theatre is already making an impact on the community. The goal is to build on that.


"We know that theatre is much more than just a building – we want to be the hub of theatre experience in Abbotsford, to continue to make a positive contribution to this community," she says.



Hildebrandt concurs.


"Our hope is that our guests will be inspired by what they hear and see at this event, just as they are inspired by what they see when they come to a production," Hildebrandt says. "And out of that inspiration, they'll be moved to help us continue to provide excellent theatre in our community and move towards realizing our dream."


The Gallery 7 FUNdraiser takes place on Saturday May 5th at MEI Theatre, 4081 Clearbrook Road, Abbotsford. Doors open at 6 pm when the Silent Auction begins, and the performance starts at 7:30 pm! Tickets are $20 each and are available at House of James, 2743 Emerson Street, Abbotsford or call 604-852-3701.

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